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How Long Do Highlights Last?

How Long Do Highlights Last?

Highlights are a great way to add some color and life to your hair, but how long do they last? Most people find that they last between two and three months before they need to be refreshed. This is because the natural oils in your hair will eventually start to fade the color.

The lifespan of hair highlights depends on various conditions, like the kind of dye and how often you shampoo. Here’s a more detailed explanation as well as some tips to make your color last.

Keep reading to learn more about how long highlights last and how you can ensure they look their best.

Factors That Affect How Long Highlights Last

Hair dye fades over time and this is especially true for highlights. The main factors that affect how long they last are the type of dye used, the amount of product applied, and your hair’s natural oils.

Permanent dyes are the strongest and longest-lasting, followed by semi-permanent, then demi-permanent dyes. The permanent dye will not fade as quickly but will require more upkeep for touch-ups and refreshes.

Your hair’s natural oils play a role in how long highlights last because they can cause the color to gradually diminish over time. The more you shampoo your hair, the faster the oils will strip away the color.

Why Do You Need to Touch Up Your Highlights?

Highlights are created by dyeing sections of hair a lighter color than the rest. Over time, these hairs will be exposed to the same environmental factors as the natural color, causing it to fade.

Additionally, due to being processed with chemicals more frequently than other parts of your hair, highlights can become more susceptible to damage and breakage. All these factors contribute to why highlights can start looking dull and washed out after a few months.

How to Know When It is Time to Refresh Your Highlights

One surefire way to tell when you need to refresh your highlights is by monitoring the vibrancy of the color. If you notice that your highlights are looking dull or faded, then it is probably time for a touch-up.

Another way to check if your highlights are fading is to compare them to the sections of your hair that were not dyed. You will be able to easily tell how much the color has lightened compared to when you first got highlights.

If you wait too long, it’s likely that the highlights will have become too light and you won’t be able to get them back to their original shade without a full-on dye job.

How Much Does It Cost to Refresh Your Highlights?

The cost of refreshing your highlights varies depending on the salon and how much product they use. Generally, a touch-up session will cost around $50–$80.

If you have made drastic changes to your hair since the last time you had highlights, then it could cost more for a full-color correction.

How to Make Your Highlights Last Longer

Knowing how long highlights last is one thing, but there are some things you can do to make them last even longer. Here are some simple tips:

  • Use gentle shampoos and conditioners that won’t strip away the color.
  • Avoid washing your hair too often to prevent the natural oils from fading the highlights.
  • Limit exposure to UV rays and harsh chemicals, which can cause the color to fade more quickly.
  • Use a deep-conditioning treatment once a week to keep your hair looking and feeling healthy.
  • Get regular touch-ups to keep the color vibrant.
  • Use cool water when washing your hair to prevent fading.

With the correct amount of care, you can make your highlights last for 2-3 months before needing to dye them again!


Highlights are a great way to add dimension and brightness to your hair, but they require some upkeep in order to look their best. Knowing how long highlights last and understanding the factors that affect their longevity is key to making sure you get the most out of them. With a little bit of TLC, you can make sure that your highlights stay vibrant and beautiful for months to come.

Remember, it is always best to consult with a professional hair stylist before attempting any major changes to your hair! Good luck and happy styling!

Related: How Long Does It Take To Get Highlights?